Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has reported it received a spike in the numbers of complaints concerning noise pollution in the past 18 months as Victorians continue to work from home.
Chief Executive of EPA, Lee Miezis said the Authority received twice the number of noise pollution complaints in 2020-21 than in the previous year and data from the first half of this financial year revealed the trend was continuing.
Mr Miezis said EPA had received around 3,500 noise pollution reports in that six-month period.
“The most common types of noise complaints are about residential and industrial noise,” he said.
“In 2020-2021, 5,404 of the total 20,000 pollution reports we received were about noise, more than twice as many as the year prior, so people are hearing more noise when they would normally be at work and they’re calling it in.
“The new Environment Protection Act, introduced in July 2021, gives Councils more powers to regulate residential noise and they can now appoint noise enforcement officers with power to make directions, or even start court proceedings.”
Mr Miezis said EPA had more direct involvement in noise from commercial premises where machinery or work practices may be causing issues.
He said complaints about vehicle noise to EPA were not as common, but the Authority worked with police if the offending vehicle was on the road, or with Council if it was a residential driveway.
“We recognise that people don’t always know where to go to get help so, as we always say, call 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842) and we can at least help you navigate through to the right Agency,” Mr Miezis said.